MULTAN: The Higher Education Department (HED) on Monday issued a notification for the posting of an acting vice chancellor of the Bahauddin Zakariya University in the presence of regular VC doing his duty.

The notification says the governor/chancellor has been pleased to grant medical leave with effect from May 6 to June 2 in favour of VC Prof Dr Tahir Amin. The governor asked Faculty of Science Dean Dr Tariq Mahmmod Ansari to look after day-to-day affairs of the university during the leave period of Dr Amin.

Interestingly, Dr Amin has already resumed his duty on May 25.

Earlier, the routine working of the university was badly affected in the absence of the vice chancellor for over a month due to HED indifference.

The Women University, Multan (WUM), also faced the issues of identical nature as Dr Amin held its additional charge as well.

Prior to going on leave, Dr Amin visited Multan on April 5 just to take additional charge of the WUM. He left the city only after two days without applying for station leave.

He underwent angiography on April 15 in the Shifa Hospital in Islamabad where he was recommended immediate open heart surgery. He sought medical leave from April 17 to May 5.

On April 21, the HED secretary prepared a summary for the chief minister’s office. The CM approved the summary on May 2 and asked Prof Tariq Mahmood Ansari to look after day-to-day affairs of both the universities during the leave period of Dr Amin.

The very next day, the chancellor granted approval to the request and sent back the draft to the chief minister office but the HED secretary issued the notification of leave on May 9, four days after the expiry of the leave.

In the meanwhile, Faculty of Pharmacy Dean Prof Dr Bashir Ahmed Chaudhry was asked verbally by the VC to look after the day-to-day affairs of the university.

The order is against the university act which says “if the office of the VC is vacant or the VC is absent or is unable to perform the functions of the VC owing to any cause, the pro-vice chancellor shall perform the functions of the VC but, if at any time, the office of pro-VC is also vacant or the pro-VC is absent or is unable to perform the functions of the VC owing to any cause, the chancellor shall make such temporary arrangements for the performance of the duties of the VC as he may deem fit”.

Sources said since the office of pro-VC is vacant and HED notifications came late, it provided an opportunity to the BZU admin to take steps of its liking.

Dr Amin again applied for extension of his medical leave from May 6 to June 2 but the approval for leave and notification for look-after charge were granted on May 29, despite Dr Amin has rejoined the university on May 25.

It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Chaudhry worked as acting vice chancellor during the last 18 months whenever VC Dr Amin was away from Multan.

Sources said Dr Chaudhry gave a number of administrative orders and financial approvals, including the removal of administrative heads like warden.

They said two notifications were issued by the provincial government not to give any administrative position to a person against whom challans of corruption have been submitted to the courts but the BZU admin made selective use of these orders.

They said acting in compliance of these notifications, the university administration made former registrar Malik Munir Husain an officer on special duty and subsequently sent him on forced retirement. But in the Dr Chaudhry case, it made him acting VC despite he was facing corruption charges. Presently he is on protective bail.

The HED secretary did not respond to text messages and phone calls when Dawn tried to seek his comment.

BZU Registrar Prof Dr Mutahir Iqbal said since the regular VC has resumed his duty, posting of Dr Ansari has been nullified. He said Dr Amin had applied for leave in time and his applications were forwarded to the HED in time.

He said the BZU had nothing to do with delay in leave approvals and notifications for acting charge.

The registrar did not give a clear answer regarding the posting of Dr Chaudhry as the acting VC.

Meanwhile, the governor/chancellor has withdrawn the additional charge of the post of WUM VC from Dr Amin and entrusted the same to the VC, Women University, Bahawalpur.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2017